Debt ceiling bill headed to Senate after clearing House

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


The debt ceiling bill sailed to passage in the House Wednesday evening, despite fierce objections by both parties to several of its compromises.

The legislation passed in a Democrat-heavy 314-117 vote, well beyond the simple majority of 218 needed to clear the lower chamber. Seventy-one Republicans and 46 Democrats voted against the bill brokered by President Joe Biden and House Speaker McCarthy (R-Calif.). Four members — two Republicans and two Democrats — abstained from voting, including Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Angie Craig (D-Minn.), and Deborah Ross (D-N.C.).

McCarthy and Minority leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) both declared victory after the vote.

“This is fabulous,” McCarthy tweeted. ” Democrats are now officially on record in support of: Work requirements for welfare — Slashing IRS funding — Cutting spending. So you can be sure I’m coming back for more.”

Jeffries praised his party for safeguarding “Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans and so much more,” in a tweet

“President Biden and House Dems stopped the right-wing extremists from crashing our economy,” he added.

President Biden said in a statement released immediately after the vote that it “is good news for the American people and the American economy.” He thanked McCarthy for “negotiating in good faith,” and urged the Senate to pass the bill quickly.


Some House Republicans who voted against the bill were left fuming Wednesday night, including Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde who called the vote “shameful.”

“The disastrous debt ceiling deal just passed with more Democrat votes than Republican votes. Tells you everything you need to know,” Clyde declared in a tweet late Wednesday.

Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.), a leading proponent of rescinding McCarthy’s speakership over the legislation, posted a clip of the vote’s tally captioned: “This is what it looks like when the uniparty cartel sells out the American people.” 

Rep. Chip Roy was more direct in his castigation of Republicans who voted with Democrats to pass the bill. 

“To my [Republican] colleagues on this side of the aisle … My beef is that you cut a deal that shouldn’t have been cut,” he tweeted.

One surprise came in the form of Roy’s Freedom Caucus colleague, Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), one of 149 Republicans who voted in favor of the legislation.

“I speak the truth. Always have,” Greene tweeted. “And the truth is: Republicans have huge wins in this fight.”

Greene enumerated nine of those “wins,” including decreased funding for the IRS, “[migrant] sanctuary cities,” and the Green New Deal. 


Objections from the extreme flanks of both parties in the upper chamber will need to be overcome to avoid a federal debt default on June 5. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the Senate will “do everything we can to move the bill quickly.”

“There’s been a very good vote in the House. I hope we can move the bill quickly here in the Senate and bring it to the president’s desk as soon as possible,” Schumer said from the Senate floor late Wednesday night, setting a goal of 48 hours to push the bill through.

The Fiscal Responsibility Act would raise the debt ceiling until January 2025 and caps growth in the 2025 budget at 1%. It would also keep discretionary spending in the 2024 budget at 2023 levels, exempting discretionary defense spending.

It further includes:

  • Expanded work requirements for welfare recipients, with some exceptions;
  • Permitting reforms to speed up approval for new energy projects;
  • $885 billion in overall defense spending on Ukraine’s defense against Russia;
  • A “pay-as-you-go” requirement that the executive branch offset major expenditures with spending cuts, with exceptions; and
  • A claw-back of nearly $30 billion in unspent COVID-19 funds to be redirected toward non-defense discretionary spending.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill would reduce budget deficits by $1.5 trillion over the next decade in a report released on Tuesday.


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in a statement called on senators after the House bill passed Wednesday night “to pass this agreement without delay.”

This article was partially informed by Axios, NBC News, The Hill, and The Washington Examiner reports.